Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword in the field of speech-language pathology. In this article, we’ll explore how AI can streamline your daily work tasks and session planning, making your speech therapy practice more efficient and effective.

Why AI in Speech Therapy?

AI has been making waves in various fields (considerable waves, might I add), and speech therapy is no exception. AI can help us streamline our workflows, personalize therapy sessions, and ease the feeling of being stuck while documenting. But how exactly can we harness this technology to benefit our clients and ourselves? Let’s dig in!

To begin, it's important to recognize that there are numerous types of AI available, and the AI field is continuously expanding. For simplicity, we will focus on ways to utilize one of the most popular AI platforms, ChatGPT by OpenAI* (which we also use).

Please note: We have NO endorsement from ChatGPT, and all opinions expressed are our own. Additionally, it is NEVER appropriate to share identifying information, such as protected health information, with an AI model.

Actionable Ways to Use ChatGPT in Speech Therapy

Let’s start with just how AI can be used.

Below, we will discuss the various ways that we use AI for speech therapy and specifically how we do so, e.g., what prompts we might type into the ChatGPT search box.

Caveat: AI/ChatGPT can be wrong! Ensure you proofread all material that is generated from it and make changes accordingly. 

1) Create Custom Therapy Materials

One of the most time-consuming aspects of our job is creating engaging and effective therapy materials. ChatGPT can help generate customized worksheets, story prompts, word lists, and much more that can be tailored to each client's needs.

Example Implementation:

  • Task: Generate story prompts for a child working on articulation.
  • ChatGPT Prompt: "Generate a story prompt for a child working on  the /s/ sound." 
  • Result: ChatGPT will provide a creative and engaging prompt. The more specific your request, the more specific your story will be (e.g., number of sentences, inclusion of /s/ in all positions of words). You can refine this prompt as needed (e.g., “Story should include snakes and be at a fourth-grade reading level.”).

2) Develop Homework Assignments

Providing homework that reinforces session work can be crucial but also quite labor-intensive! ChatGPT can quickly generate homework assignments that align with your therapy goals in order to promote carryover and generalization of skills.

Example Implementation:

  • Task: Create a homework assignment (worksheet) that focuses on using context clues to define words from the text.
  • ChatGPT Prompt: "Create an engaging [length] story for a 6th grader. The story should be followed by 4 multiple choice questions that address finding the meaning of vocabulary words from the text." 
  • Result: ChatGPT will provide a story, of your desired length, that includes grade-specific vocabulary words and accompanying multiple choice questions.

ChatGPT is great for coming up with questions (multiple choice, open-ended, etc.) related to your content too!

3) Generate Therapy Session Plans/Templates

Planning therapy sessions can take a significant amount of time. ChatGPT can help draft session plans that are structured and goal-oriented.

Example Implementation:

  • Task: Develop a session plan for a client working on stuttering goals.
  • ChatGPT Prompt: "Create a 30-minute speech therapy session plan for a client working on attitudes and feelings related to stuttering. It should target the goal [specific goal]." 
  • Result: ChatGPT will generate a detailed plan, including activities and discussion points.

4) Quickly Edit/Refine Your Documentation

Documentation is a critical part of our job, but it can often be time-consuming to write and edit. ChatGPT can assist by quickly editing and refining your documentation, ensuring clarity and professionalism with minimal effort.

Example Implementation:

  • Task: Edit a progress note for clarity and conciseness.
  • ChatGPT Prompt: "Refine this progress note for clarity and conciseness," and input your draft progress note (excluding all identifying information).
  • Result: A polished version of the progress note will be generated. You can then review and make any final adjustments.

Other ChatGPT Considerations

The prompts and responses obtained from ChatGPT usually appear in a chat box-type format. There are some options to follow this. If you are trying to find content for a worksheet, you may find copying and pasting the information you’ve obtained into a Word document is most efficient. Another option is to use one of ChatGPTs “GPTs” like Canva or Image Generator Pro to convert the information into another source. These features require a specific click selection on your end and limited access may only be available in the Free version. Upgrade to the Plus version for increased access (@20/month).

In conclusion, incorporating ChatGPT into your speech therapy practice can significantly enhance the quality and efficiency of your sessions. We’ve experienced firsthand how this tool can transform our workflow—from creating customized therapy materials and developing detailed session plans to editing documentation and improving client communication. ChatGPT is like having an extra set of hands that saves you time and effort, allowing you to focus more on what truly matters: helping your clients.

Still Looking for Ways to Save Time and Energy Session Planning?

While AI tools like ChatGPT can save you significant time and enhance your practice, there are even more ways to optimize your workflow and stay updated on the latest advancements. Our Premium Membership Community for SLPs, where you’ll find an array of time-saving resources, community forums, and more. Together, we can embrace the future of speech therapy with community at the forefront. Won’t you join us?